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The crew of Mater, which the audience will be able to watch this evening at the Arena, spoke today at a press conference.

Director Jure Pavlović has so far made short film, and after his first feature film, said it is much harder than short films. “It is not necessarily more difficult to work on a feature film, and short film might even be more challenging”, he said and added he had an intimate need to tell this story. He also said the film is a result of an effort from a large film crew.

Pavlović said that the film is pretty authentic and that it was challenging to find its authentic key, but that director pf photography Jana Plećaš has helped him. “It was not easy for the actors. We had full-length scenes, we filmed in continuity, and there was no room for error, which was very demanding”, he said and compared this type of work on a film with travel without a safety net.

Emphasising that Neva Rošić has given a masterful performance as lead actress, Pavlović explained he called the mother mater, a word which carries a lot of authority, strength and leadership abilities. “She is actually someone with a lot of authority and strength, which is felt despite the fact that she is in the background in the film”, he emphasised.

Daria Lorenci-Flatz plays the role of the daughter, and said that in working on her role she did not turn to her own mother or grandmother, but that the feeling of estrangement the daughter feels helped her much more. “Sarajevo is my city, it is somewhere I always go back to, and I found a connection there, as the character I play also comes back to her hometown”, she said.

Speaking about the character of the mother, she said the mother has authority characteristic of that generation and location, and that she is familiar with the mentality of the people in the Neretva region, which has helped her in her role. “We all spent two and a half months there, and it helped us a lot with our work on the film. The most difficult part for me was playing in German, which I can’t speak, and so I learnt all of the monologues by heart”, she admitted.

Lorenci-Flatz also said that working on this film has been specific and demanding, as it used continuous takes, and added that she cried and was depressed on set. “The continuity of working for 43 days straight has helped, even though nothing can prepare you for this way of filming. It is hard, both mentally and physically.”

Jana Plećaš is the director of photography and production designer of the film, and says she had no easy task: “We filmed in 2.35, which is limiting in itself, and even though the house where we filmed was already dark, I made it even harder with the lighting”.

Martin Semenčić and his team were in charge of the sound. Seeing how there are roads on both sides of the house where filming took place, they used acrylic glass to dampen the sounds, and that they later recorded the sounds of people talking at a cafe, bus and other places. “To get authentic sound, we recorded people who spoke in an accent.”

Other than Vera Zima , the supporting roles are mostly played by untrained actors, who were given a lot of freedom by Pavlović. This results in a lot of added authenticity, as the non-actors play themselves.

The film Mater has already been to international festivals and has done a summer tour that attracted 3000 viewers. The film will be released in cinemas across Croatia on 10 September.

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